“The most terrifying film you will ever experience” was sprawled across movie advertisements all over the country for Fede Alvrez’s newest movie Evil Dead. With all that hype it’s easy to see why so many horror buffs were eager to see the remake of this 1981 film. But when it was finally released on April 5th, it fell short of its claim. It seemed to be just another generic gory horror movie. It went for cheap scares, making the audience jump with the sound of music and that’s really it. It definitely was not the most terrifying film you will experience.
It was actually almost comical in a way. Watching as one girl stands, arm sawed off and drenched in blood with nails embedded in her face, pleading with her boyfriend asking why her face hurts is nothing short of funny and you can’t help but laugh. Evil Dead is filled with absurdities like that, making it more of a comedic experience than a terrifying one.
But Evil Dead isn’t the only movie that falls into the category of a funny scary movie. In fact, most horror films nowadays are more comedic than frightening. They all face the same issue that Evil Dead does. They try so hard to step into that terror zone that they miss it entirely. Some of the best examples of this: Jennifer’s Body, Drag Me to Hell, Birdemic, Orphan and The Village and so much more. They all went down in IMDb as horrors, but really they’re comedies. Some had outrageous plot lines, others unbelievable gore and terrible acting, but, regardless, they weren’t scary. True scary movies don’t seem to exist anymore probably because of a combination of absurdities in the movie itself and the fact that audiences are becoming more and more desensitized to gore, suspense, and cinematic fear tactics.
Since it’s the 21st century and technology is all the rage, it seems that movies try to go above and beyond to use all this technology in an effort to make the movies scary. Film makers think because they have the resources are their disposal, they can make creative monsters and bad guys, but somehow they always seem to look a little funny. They think since they have the ability to make realistic injuries that it is ok for character’s to walk around with missing limbs, gushing blood, when clearly they should have already died. My Bloody Valentine is a great example of technology turned absurd. The movie was intended to be in 3D but there was no reason to add that extra dimension to the movie. They insisted, however, and as a result the movie suffered. They tried so hard to make the film 3D-appropriate, but it was all stuff being thrown at you and blood being spattered at you. It was all entirely unnecessary and it took away from the movie, not to mention made it a bit too comical.
What makes it worse is younger generations don’t get scared easily anymore. With so much exposure to violence from video games, television, and even everyday events, it is difficult to make people jump out of their skin in terror. Watching someone saw off their arm, while it may be a little gross and painful to watch, it’s not necessarily scary. It won’t send you home with nightmares, that’s for sure. Even if you find yourself watching classic horror films like The Shining and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they do not have the same effect on audiences as the used to. As a culture, we’ve seen the serial-killer-goes-crazy thing one too many times to be phased entirely by it.
Maybe that is it. We need a new idea of scary- something creative and unexpected. We need to put an end to mass murders with axes and try something different. But until we do scary movies will forever rest in peace.
Gina is a freshman Writing, Literature & Publishing major with a minor in Journalism. Originally from Long Island she is 100% Italian and proud of it but she is obsessed with anything related to France!